The Senate berated the Minister of State for Employment, Labour and Productivity, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), again on Wednesday over the recruitment of 774,000 Nigerians for the Federal Government’s Special Public Works programme.
Spokesperson for the Senate, Dr Ajibola Basiru, in an interview with The PUNCH, described as false, a claim by the minister that each member of the National Assembly was given 30 slots in the ongoing nationwide public works recruitment.
As the Senate condemned Keyamo, the Ogun State Chairman of Special Public Works, Senator Gbenga Obadara, in an interview with The PUNCH, said four doctoral and 200 Master’s degree holders were among applicants in the state.
Recall that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had a few months ago, approved the employment of 774,000 workers as part of efforts to cushion the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the programme, Nigerians, who will be unskilled workers, will earn N20, 000 each on a monthly basis for three months.
At least, 1,000 workers will be recruited from each of the 774 local government areas of the country.
The programme ran into a hitch last month when the National Assembly and Keyamo disagreed over who should handle the recruitment.
The Senators had insisted that the programme should be handled by the National Directorate of Employment.
But following the President’s intervention, the crisis was resolved. Two weeks ago, the Chairman of the Extended Special Public Work Selection Committee in Rivers State, Dr Innocent Barikor, was quoted to have said that the minister had directed that every governor should be given 40 slots in each local government area, while each senator and House of Representatives member would enjoy 30 slots in their various council areas.
We didn’t beg for slots, we weren’t given any – Senate tells Keyamo
But Basiru, in the interview with The PUNCH, said there was no time the minister gave 30 slots to each member of the National Assembly.
He, therefore, warned Keyamo against using the programme to blackmail the lawmakers.
Basiru explained that the Red Chamber never approached Keyamo to negotiate for slots and that no such gesture had been received from him.
Culled from PUNCH